The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) made changes of historical proportions this month by changing how the Consumer Price Index is reported.
For the first time in history the BLS has begun reporting the Consumer Price Index to three decimal points. Their official statement is as follows:
“Effective with this release, index levels are now published to three decimal places. Percent changes based on these three-decimal place indexes will continue to be published to one decimal place. “
So for January 2007 the CPI-U index is now 202.416 rather than 202.4 but their official inflation rate is still 2.1% rather than the 2.08% that we calculate it out to.
While I applaud the higher level of accuracy on the index, I wonder why they decided to change it? Could it be that the index is now over 200 (indicating 100% inflation since 1982) and they feel the need for a bit more accuracy?
The interesting thing is that we have been using that index to calculate the inflation rate to two decimals for years but the BLS has decided not to switch their inflation calculation to two decimals but to switch the index to three decimals.
Or perhaps they have heard complaints like: InflationData.com is publishing to two decimal places so why can’t they? Perhaps, next year after having three digits on the index for a year they will go to two or three digits on the Inflation Rate in order to keep up with us.
In the mean time the only place to get two digit inflation rates is at InflationData.com.